Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Arizona (3) - East to the Chiricuhuas

Tuesday 21st July

Today it was the long drive (180 miles) to the Chiricahuas. A mountain range at the eastern end of the region close to the New Mexico border. Definitely the most remote area with the least facilities...a wild place. The main town is called Portal and is another well known location in US Birding circles. It's a beautiful location at the entrance to the amazing Cave Creek Canyon.

We arrived around 11 and first stop was Stateline road, the old boundary road between Arizona and New Mexico. It's a traditional location for 2 sought after Thrashers, Namely Bendire's and Crissal. My visit wasn't at the optimum time of year or hour come to that, and it was no surprise when I drew a blank in an hour's search.

On the road up to Portal we found a lovely Swainson's Hawk perched on a post right next to the road...

We had a walk around the streets of Portal and then stopped in on a property that welcomes Birders and has a well stocked feeding station. It used to be owned by a weel known birder called Dave Jasper but the new owners have kept things going. The lady of the house jioned us and put some more jam in the jar.

Hey Presto...Hooded Orioles! First the female...

then the stunning male...

Theses birds were VERY skittish I was extremely pleased to get images. They basically shot in grabbed some jelly and were gone! I prefer to see birds in their natural environment but I'm not complaining on this occasion.

Another cracker is a bird with an unpronounceable (at least to me) name. A cardinalis like it's close relative the Northern Cardinal...'s a Pyrrhuloxia...

Note the blunt bill. A dandy!

Going to leave it there for tonight. I've had it!

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